Liuwa Plain National Park
The Liuwa Plains are in the far west of Zambia, are very remote and are Zambia's 'best kept secret' . Access by air or a long road trip. Norman Carr Safaris' new luxury property, King Lewanika Lodge is open. It was declared a 'game reserve' by the Litunga's traditional king of Barotseland in 1800's. In the Lozi language of this area, the word 'Liuwa' means 'plain'. The traditional Kuomboka ceremony is also held in this area.
Most of the grassy Plains become flooded from around December to April. This flooding drives the wildebeest migration, as the herds move out of the woodlands and on to the open plains for new fresh grazing. Liuwa's blue wildebeest are now estimated to number as many as 47,000 and second only to the Serengeti wildebeest migration. November/December and May/June are best times.
Predators include Lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and hyena. Bigger game groups together into great herds eg- Blue wildebeest, tsessebe, zebra, buffalo, red lechwe, eland, Lichtenstein's hartebeest and roan antelope, reedbuck and oribi are also common.
Approx 334 bird species have been sighted and it is a birders paradise. As the pans fill up, yellow-billed, open-billed, saddle-billed and marabou storks arrive, with grey herons, spoonbills, egrets, three-banded blacksmith's plovers, spur-winged and pygmy geese, and many others. Slaty egrets are seen in groups and rare elsewhere. Secretary birds, Denham's and white-bellied bustards; migrant black-winged pratincoles, pink-billed and clapper larks, swamp boubou, rosy-breasted longclaw, sharp-tailed starling, long-tailed widow and white-cheeked bee-eater to name a few. Raptors like the greater kestrel, Bateleur, martial eagles, palmnut vultures ,fish eagles and Pel's fishing owl are quite common. Grey crowned cranes, recently classified as endangered due to population declines elsewhere.